The medium or the message? Communication relevance and richness in trust games
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Subjects communicated prior to playing trust games; the richness of the communication media and the topics of conversation were manipulated. Communication richness failed to produce significant differences in first-mover investments. However, the topics of conversation made a significant difference: the amounts sent were considerably higher in the unrestricted communication conditions than in the restricted communication and no-communication conditions. Most importantly, we find that first-movers’ expectations of second-movers’ reciprocation are influenced by communication and strongly predict their levels of investment.
KeywordsTrust Laboratory experiments Communication Social norms Cooperation Computer-mediated communication
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